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IIT AGNE Picnic 2019 In NARA Park Acton

Roopesh Mathur

IIT AGNE hosted its annual picnic on Sunday, July 13th 2019 at the beautiful NARA Park in Acton. The picnic was attended by almost 150 alumni and families, despite the heat wave during the weekend. This year, the attendees ranged from Dr. Jagdish C. Agarwal, a 93 year old alumnus from the 1945 batch of IT-BHU to fresh IIT alumni in grad school at Boston colleges.

Bala Balasubramaniam and Roopesh Mathur, President and Executive Vice-President, recapped numerous events and activities organized by IIT AGNE this year. This includes events focused on consumers at the cutting edge of  technology, an all day data competition called the Data Kaggle, a Cyber-security panel. IIT AGNE also hosted a play on the life of DNA pioneer, Dr. Rosalind Franklin, called “Photograph 51” at the Central Square theater followed by a panel discussion of women scientists. 

The IIT AGNE Womens group, led by Ranjani Saigal & Durriya Doctor, outlined the work they are doing for raising awareness and leveling the playing field in technology for women. They are currently working with Senator Cindy Friedman to pass a bill that seeks to plug a serious gap in the sexual harassment and discrimination statute in MA. The bill strengthen protections by extending the coverage of the statute to include VCs and private investors.

This was followed by a truly inspirational speech by Dr. Jagdish Agarwal, talking about his journey from the 1940s to the present. Dr. Agarwal started at BHU in 1941, where he participated in the Indian Freedom Struggle and met Mahatma Gandhi when he came to participate in the 25th anniversary of BHU’s founding, from whom he received his degree in 1945. He came to the United States in 1946 on a US Navy ship, got his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School; and went on to a distinguished career in technology at US Steel, Kennecott copper Corp and For AMAX. Dr. Agarwal still continues his career at Charles River Associates working on electricity storage and addressing climate change!  

The IIT AGNE 2019 picnic was a fun event for IIT alumni and their families, to gather and relax, as well as network and share stories. There was plenty of food catered by Mayuri in Acton, grilled corn and barbecued chicken, fun and games including a round of Bingo. IIT AGNE is grateful to Bala Balasubramaniam and Alkesh Shah for their enthusiasm and hard work in making the event successful.

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